Photo of Melé


United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Social links

Artist Spotlight

Feb 22, 2024

Photo of Lissy Lübeck

Lissy Lübeck

6 min read

Introducing Melé: a trailblazing force in the realm of percussive and tribal house, a British DJ, artist, and innovator whose electrifying presence ignites dancefloors worldwide.

Known for infusing his sets with octane dynamism and infectious charisma, Melé has carved a sonic niche that seamlessly weaves together worldly influences of house, hip-hop, UK sounds, and Chicago grooves.

His endless catalog is a hotbed of anthemic music, boasting releases on prestigious labels such as Eats Everything's Edible, Diplo’s Higher Ground, Shimza’s Kunye, and the legendary Defected Records.

A true pioneer of the tribal house movement, Melé's remixes and productions have left an indelible mark on the industry, collaborating with luminaries such as Mabel, George Morel, Kano, Armand Van Helden, and more.

In 2018, he laid the foundation for his colossal venture – the event series and record label, Club Bad. Based in his hometown of Liverpool, Club Bad has become synonymous with sold-out shows, featuring illustrious guests like Benji B, DJ BORING, and Mella Dee at its 24 Kitchen Street home, as well as other revered institutions across the UK.

Club Bad serves as a platform not only for his own productions but also for a diverse array of talents, including Bontan, Lubekski, and emerging artists. Through his multifaceted contributions to the electronic music scene, Melé continues to push boundaries, leaving an indomitable imprint on the global dance community.


What are your first memories of music? What initially drew you to the music scene, and has your Liverpool upbringing influenced your sound?

I started out fully as a hip hop kid. I didn’t really like dance music at all until I was about 13/14. My uncle was a raver in the late 80’s and early 90’s, when he used to go to the Hacienda & Quadrant Park in Liverpool, so it was him that introduced me to house and electronic music early on.

Then when I was about 16, I started going to nights like Chibuku & Cream in Liverpool, seeing DJ’s like James Lavelle, DJ Sneak, Raresh, Erol Alkan etc. Chibuku was a great club, as there would be 3 rooms with totally different sounds in each room.

Your signature sound is instantly recognizable, as it blends elements of breaks, hip-hop, tribal house and percussion. How did you arrive at this distinctive fusion?

I think it's probably because I'm into so many different types of music. I could never be happy just doing one thing. I loved the Chemical Brothers growing up and still do, and how they put all these different styles into their sound really appealed to me.

Can you share an experience that significantly influenced your musical style?

It was getting into artists like Masters At Work, Danny Tenaglia etc. Also living in London for 7 years and being there when the UK Funky sound was really popping was a big influence on me.

What's the most unexpected source of inspiration you've encountered?

Probably seeing James Lavelle at Chibuku in around 2007, hearing the James Holden remix of The Sky Was Pink felt like a moment where i really “got it”.

How do you feel your sound has evolved since your first release?

A lot! I actually hate listening back to my old stuff now haha. I think my first release was when I was 17. I was obviously still finding my way and sound back then and probably didn’t really know what I was doing. I like to think it's a lot more refined now!

Did you have any mentor or role model during your rise in the industry?

There have been a lot over the years. The two that stand out to me are Graeme Sinden & Fraser T Smith. Graeme was the first person to really take me under his wing when I was 1 -, the first DJ to ever play me on radio, and he introduced me to a lot of people who also taught me a lot.

I met Fraser when I was working with Kano around 2015. I had a little room in his studio in Fulham for around a year where I met and worked with artists like Dua Lipa, Stormzy, Dave etc. He was just the best person to be around during that time and I learnt a lot about working with different artists.

What was your big break moment?

I think probably my first Boiler Room in 2011 when I was 18. Also getting played & heavily supported by Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1 was a huge thing for me.


What has been the most challenging aspect of establishing your own record label and party, Club Bad?

Just trying to be consistent, making sure we're releasing quality music every time, and booking DJ’s that might not be immediate “ticket sellers” but are incredible and fit the vibe. It's all about longevity for me, so just staying the course and trying to keep that ethos in everything I do.

As a label boss, what do you look for in new artists? What kind of talent do you seek? What qualities do you look for in aspiring producers?

Definitely artists with their own style and vibe, being influenced by other artists but not straight up replicating them. Most of the time I'm looking for the opposite of what people think I want to hear. It's so oversaturated now it's more important than ever to be yourself and find your own vibe.

You’ve hosted numerous sell out shows at your chosen home of 24 Kitchen St in Liverpool, do you plan to throw Club Bad parties elsewhere in the future?

I really want to start doing Club Bad shows in the US, hopefully towards the end of the year that would be the goal.

Do you have any upcoming artists you think we should be aware of?

Thomas Garcia, Elisa Elisa, Tal Fussman, William Kiss, Ben Miller, Ossie. There’s so many right now! All of these people that have released on Club Bad and are making some amazing stuff.


Who have you enjoyed working with most in the studio? Is there a stand out collaboration for you?

Working with Kano is the one that always stands out to me, he was and still is one of my favorite artists of all time, so being able to work on music with him is such a blessing. The collaboration with Diplo & Busta Rhymes too - both artists have influenced me massively over the years.

You've ticked off a lot of incredible venues and festivals over the years, is there one venue or festival you haven't played yet but are eager to?

I was booked for Coachella in 2020 so never got to play there, so hopefully one day. I still haven’t played in Brazil! I’d like to do Kappa Futur in Italy. I reckon I would smash up Circoloco too. So there is so much I still want to do!

More from Artist Spotlight

Read next

Copyright © 2024 Seer Assets, LLC. All rights reserved.